Nyaungshwe and Inle Lake


Nyaungshwe isn’t on the lake itself, but is the main centre. We rent bicycles and go for a ride 11 KMs down the lake to the village of Maing Thauk.

On the way is the Red Mountain winery. Quaffable vino produced by a French winemaker. We purchase three bottles to support the local economy.

Vineyards -Nyaungshwe
‘… I’m a simple, humble worker in the vineyard of the Lord.’ – Pope Benedict XVI

Maing Thauk has a long boardwalk leading to the floatier bits of town.

Boardwalk - Nyaungshwe
Boardwalk Empire

On the left of the boardwalk above, you can see floating gardens of tomatoes. Having enough water is seldom a problem.

tomatoes - Nyaungshwe
Lake-grown tomatoes

Because there isn’t any solid ground on the shore, people live in houses on stilts.

stilt house - Nyaungshwe
When I lived on the lake I was seeing the girl next door, but eventually we drifted apart.

Next day, we hire a longboat and driver for a tour of the lake.

Inle Lake - Nyaungshwe
Inle Lake

We visit villages with more stilt houses.

Another stilt house - Nyaungshwe
Did you hear about the stilt house that collapsed? Everything but the kitchen sank!

At the Nam Hu market, we see distinctively-garbed women from the Pa’O tribe.

tea seller - Nyaungshwe
More tea, Vicar?

Also at the Nam Hu market was this extremely old woman, negotiating for some cheroots.

Elderly shopper - Nyaungshwe
Is it Senior’s Discount day today?

We stop at the Phaung Daw Oo pagoda, where there are Bhudda images so covered with gold foil, they are no longer recognizable as figures, but look like gold-plated soft ice cream. (No photos РI thought it might be disrespectful.)

Phaung Daw Oo pagoda - Nyaungshwe
Phaung Daw Oo pagoda

More Pa’O women at the Nam Hu market

‘Have you heard? Orange is the new black.’

Canals run throughout the village.

Gondolas - Nyaungshwe
Route canal

Elsewhere on our boat trip, we visit a cheroot workshop. Many Burmese regularly puff on these all day long.

Rolling cheroots - Nyaungshwe
Rolling cheroots

Further down the lake, we see a weaving workshop the makes cloth from the fibres of lotus stems.

Lotus fibre - Nyaungshwe
Lotus fibre

Besides lotus fibre cloth, they also weave silk and cotton. I purchase a longi for myself.

 weaving workshop - Nyaungshwe
In the weaving workshop.

Sight or Insight of the Day

Cycling to Maing Thauk village, we passed this architecturally-interesting private school.

Frank Gehry-inspired - Nyaungshwe
Frank Gehry-inspired?

On the return trip to Nyaungshwe, school was just letting out. Down the road is a public school. Parents came for their children on foot, on bicycles, or on scooters. Meanwhile, all the kids at the private school were picked up in private cars. It was like being in Manhattan or Toronto. No walking for these snowflakes!